Woo Young Sim
Following a strong season last year, the girls’ softball team has defeated key rivals to hold a 3-0 league record and is currently on the hunt for another league championship.
After becoming Mission League champions and reaching quarterfinals in CIF last year, players said that they feel motivated to uphold their current undefeated streak.
“I think that our main goal is to do as well or even better than we did last year,” catcher Alison Salvador ’19 said. “I think that last year was really a mark in the softball community for the school. One of our main goals on this campus especially as a girls’ sport is to gain respect. I think last year, we really did do something about that. I think our main goal is to keep that up this year.”
Softball Program Head Brittany Moeai, who coaches the team alongside Marisa Schwartz, said that although she tells the team to not lose sight of their goal to succeed in CIF, she believes the best way the team can accomplish their goals is to prioritize their immediate tasks.
“It is important that we focus on getting one win at a time, and the rest will come,” Moeai said. “I just want them to keep improving, keep working, keep getting better, keep taking it game by game and inning by inning because we don’t know what the future is going to have for us.”
According to Moeai, the team needs to maintain their momentum from last season in order to accomplish their goals of improving individually and as a team.
“What I like to tell the girls is that it’s very important to know that this is a game of teamwork and it’s a game of getting the job done, and it doesn’t matter what you’ve done leading up to this point, she said. “What matters is that everything counts.”
Players said that their success results from the close bonds teammates have with one another. Several of the athletes have played together since seventh or ninth grade, and the roster has not changed much from last year, co-captain, pitcher and infielder Kinly McCaffrey ’18 said.
“I love my teammates,” McCaffrey said. “We all are really, really close. It’s really fun practicing with them, and it’s something I’ve learned to look forward to. I think that is what has made my Harvard-Westlake softball career so memorable.”
According to outfielder Lauren Witmer ’19, the team was “slightly shaky” at the beginning of the season. However, they defeated rival Marlborough on April 12 and have since won decisive games against rivals Louisville and Academy.
Led by McCaffrey, shortstop Ashley Waco ’18 and Chronicle staff writer and pitcher Keila McCabe ’20, the team looks forward to their next game against Notre Dame on April 27. Moaei said she is enthusiastic to see where the season will take them.
“I want my girls to go in every game like it’s the championship game and to have the mentality that they’re going to have to work for every win and every pitch,” Moeai said. “I like them to live in the moment. I know our record, just to me it doesn’t matter. To me, what matters is the game that we’re going to play tomorrow.”